January brings us into a new year, a time when many organizations are re-evaluating their strategic initiatives and priorities. Curious to know what items top the list, we asked you in December what your organization's top priority was for 2011. Here are the results.
December Poll on 2011 Organization Priorities - Results
Collaboration Takes Top Priority
Of the 907 votes in our informal poll which ran most of December, 287 votes went to stronger internal collaboration practices, tools and culture -- roughly 32% of the votes. Social engagement (or Social CRM) and mobile access landed at the bottom with 8% and 6% of the vote. Web content management, enterprise content management and cross-channel communications fell neatly in between.
So what does this tell us?
A Successful Inside, Supports a Successful Outside
Most successful organizations have a pretty good idea of what really makes them successful, and it's not the consumers who buy their products and services. It's the people inside who work daily to bring innovative ideas to life and work with consumers to resolve issues. So it makes sense that the need to supply employees with better tools and practices is a top priority for 2011.
I'm not completely convinced that some of these votes for internal collaboration aren't simply coming from organizations who want to implement the latest and greatest technologies on the market. There are still those who hear the words "Enterprise 2.0" or "Social Software" and think "I need to get me some of that", not really knowing what they need, how to use to them to be truly effective or how their employees will respond (see Enterprise Collaboration: It's About the Culture Stupid).
For those who are serious about helping their employees, this year should bring much more on the enterprise collaboration strategies and practices front. Especially as we start to hear about the successes, and failures, of those who took the leap in 2010 (and earlier).
Equally important to better internal collaboration are the improvements around enterprise information and document management (#3 at 147 votes). If employees can't find the information they need, whether in a document management system, enterprise application or another employee's head, well then time is wasted and money is burned.
Refining Web CMS and Web Engagement
Refining web content management and web engagement tools and practices came second to better internal collaboration (154 votes or 16%). While Web Engagement is about better communications with customers and potential customers, better web content management also supports internal collaboration via intranets and other web applications, as well as supporting a stronger web experience externally. There are many discussions happening now about web engagement (dislike of acronyms aside).
We are already past the idea that the traditional flat website is dead. But there's room for interpretation on what is really needed and how you get the functionality required to support those needs for your web presence today. A big chunk of WCM, a generous helping of social software and a lot of analytics thrown in, figuring it all out will take time and every situation will be just that much different. Thank heavens there are plenty of WCM, WEM and Social Software vendors out there waiting to help (oh and consultants and analysts).
Mobile, Social CRM May be Last, But Shouldn't Be Ignored
So they are last on the list of priorities, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be thinking about them and how they fit in your strategic initiatives. The reality is though, that most organizations are still trying to get their heads wrapped around the basics. Mobile is definitely important, as is Social CRM, but they aren't basic capabilities.
Mobile is said to be one of the biggest themes for 2011, so you can't loose sight of it. Consider running pilots or trying simple initiatives to keep both of these things in sight as you work through your bigger initiatives. By doing this, you keep an eye on what's happening in these areas, and you may be able to quickly implement some capabilities into your bigger projects if you think you can.
2011 Will Bring More of the Same, Many Changes
The themes for 2011 really aren't that different from 2010: enterprise collaboration, web engagement/web content management, information management, social software, mobile, etc... This year though, maybe we'll see more about the strategies and practices needed, and not just the software that supports them.